Is it just me, or did 2016 and most of 2017 seem to be particularly nasty and mean spirited? I actually “un-friended” people on Social Media because I just couldn’t stomach the negativity of what they were posting. And I’m talking about my Christian friends.
“I am King. I will lead.” ~King of Siam
Oh, don’t get me wrong … I was a negative contributor too. Front page stuff! No doubt I got unfriended by a few of my better friends, good folks who didn’t sink as low as I did in the cesspool of Facebook and Twitter. I was “letting my voice be heard” only to figure out that nobody was listening!
Anyways, I just can’t take another year like that! Can you? So, the blog series is really a cry from my own heart. I want 2018 to be different!
I want 2018 to be a year filled with better things!
Like encouragement instead of sarcasm.
Like love instead of hatred.
Like patience instead of intolerance.
Like Jesus instead of … well, instead of me.
“I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me?” Romans 7:24 (Message)
My church has a practice of Fasting at the beginning of the year, and I joined with several friends for a 21-day Daniel Fast. It’s amazing what happens when you quiet the noises of your life (TV, phone, etc) and dethrone “King Stomach” for a while. Intimacy with God. Clarity of vision. Answers to prayer.
For those 21 days, I felt increasing strength and victory. When I had my devotions in the morning, I didn’t feel the need to look away from the woman staring back at me in the mirror of the Word of God. I was the beloved daughter, dressed in the beautiful robes of His Righteousness, dancing with Jesus in the courts of the King.
And then “she” showed up. With clumsy feet and hands full of things “she” shouldn’t be carrying. “She” tripped, and fell, and spilled and ruined my gown. Again! For the 9-billionth time!
And there is the problem. Wherever I go, “she” is always bringing up the rear!!
“I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a very sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with a dear yearning in my voice: “Dress me.”
He dressed me, my Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him.” ~Walter Wangerin, Ragman and Other Cries of Faith
FaithFood.Net does a beautiful job describing a beautiful scene from “Anna and the King” and so I’ll just quote them below (and encourage you to read the whole article):
There is an old film called Anna and the King where the heroin, Anna, serves the King of Siam by teaching his children. In one scene there was a banquet that was given by the King. It was a very proper setting with many of the guests being cultured English people. The King suggested that they finish the meal by dancing a waltz. He arose from the table and put his hand out to Anna. She is taken by surprise and does not know quite what to do. The English guests looked shocked and the Siamese were horrified.
Reluctantly, she stood to her feet. How could she refuse the King? As they walked down the steps to the dance area she looked at him apprehensively and said, “It’s been a long time since I have done this, I hope we don’t end up in a heap.
He replies, “I am King, I will lead.”
This is what I want, Lord.
I want to take off my dirty rags, and be dressed in your beauty.
I want to receive your invitation, and twirl on the dance floor with you. I want to be secured in your strong arms, and I want to let you lead. Not just for a song, or for a 21-day fast.
I want you to lead every hour of every day, knowing that in your embrace … even when I trip and stumble (or am tempted to try to lead the dance) … you will stabilize me and keep me from “ending up in a heap”.
“May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
If you have been following along, above is the initial sketch for the word picture along with it’s progression to the current state in the larger picture. There are components of this piece that are going to be revealed as this blog series continues, so please keep coming back to watch the image in my head/heart come to life on paper.
What do you think would be a good name or caption for this particular word picture?
Also, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about any of the word pictures in this blog series, or any other of my posts. My prayer is that they will speak something unique to your heart/spirit, and I would be honored to know how they move or impact you.
All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.